« ZurückWeiter »
Nay, and thou know'st they do. Oh, earth and
Valeria. Yet thou canst murder her
[Going. Valerius. Oh, heavens ! stay, sister; 'tis an arduous
task. Valeria. I know the task is hard, and thought I
knew Thy virtue too.
Valerius. I must, I will obey thee.
Valeria. My Valerius!
Valerius. Yes, I will undertake this hateful office; It never can succeed.--Yet at this instant It may be dangerous, while the people melt With fond compassion. No, it cannot be; His resolution's tix’d, and virtuous pride Forbids an alteration. To attempt it Makes her my friend, and may afford hereafter
A thousand tender hours to move my suit.
Another Apartment. Enter HORATIA and VALERIA.
HORATIA with a Scarf in her Hand. Horatia. Where is thy brother? Wherefore stays
he thus? Did you conjure him ? did he say he'd come ? I have no brothers now, and fly to him As my last refuge. Did he seem averse To thy entreaties ? Are all brothers so? 66 Alas, thou told'st me he spake kindly to theel “'Tis me, 'tis me he shuns; I am the wretch " Whom virtue dares not make acquaintance with. " Yet fly to him again, entreat him hither, « Tell him for thy sake to have pity on me. " Thou are no enemy to Rome, thou hast 66 No Alban husband to claim half thy tears, " And make humanity a crime.”
Valeria. Dear maid,
Horatia, Oh! wherefore then
Long scenes of lasting peace, and smiling years
Valeria. I will again go seek him ; pray, be calm; Success is thine if it depends on bim.
[Exit. Horatia. Success I alas, perhaps even now too late 1 labour to preserve him; the dread arm Of vengeance is already stretch'd against him, And he must fall. Yet let me strive to save him. Yes, thou dear pledge, design’d for happier hours,
[To the scarf. The gift of nuptial love, thou shalt at least Essay thy power. Olt as I fram’d thy web, He sate beside me, and would say in sport, This present, which thy love designs for me, Shali be the future bond of peace betwixt us : By this we'll suear a lasting love, by this, Through the sweet round of all our days to come, Ask, what thou wilt, and Curiatius grants it. o i shall try thee nearly now, dear youth ; Glory and I are rivals for thy heart, And one must conquer.
Enter VALERIUS and VALERIA.
Horatia. Are they engag'd then?
Valerius. No, not yet engag'd;
Horatia. My blessings on them !
Valerius. The chiefs themselves Are resolute to fight.
Horatia. Insatiate virtue! I must not to the field; I am confin'd A prisoner here; or sure these tears would move Their Ainty breasts.- Is Curiatius too Resolv'd on death ?-0, sir, forgive a maid, Who dares in spite of modesty confess Too soft a passion. Will you pardon me, If I entreat you to the field again, An humble suitor from the veriest wretch That ever knew distress.
Valerius. Dear lady, speak!
Horatia. O bear this to him.
Horatia. To Curiatius bear this scarf:
Of Rome and Alba will approve such mildness.
upon attentively while Valeria spoke. “ Horatia. Look here, Valeria, where my needle's
" Has drawn a Sabine virgin, drown'd in tears
Valerius. Could I, sweet lady,